Have Cowboy, Need Cupid. Rita Herron

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Have Cowboy, Need Cupid - Rita Herron

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      “Is this about the hope chest?” Suzanne asked

      “Yes,” Grammy said. “I want you to take yours home with you today.”

      “But there’s really no need. I’m not even dating anyone.”

      “Your love life will change soon,” Grammy said with a wink. “Take a look through it.”

      Even though her cousins and sister claimed their hope chests had some kind of magical power that had given them hints as to their future husbands, Suzanne didn’t believe it. She worked with facts and figures, not superstitions.

      Suzanne opened the wooden chest and pushed aside layers of gold tissue paper, unearthing a white lacy Stetson, a pair of white Western lace-up boots and a lace ribbon choker.

      Suzanne laughed outright. Grammy must have made a mistake when she’d put these things inside. Perhaps she’d meant them for someone else. Suzanne was a city girl. High heels and plunging necklines were more her style.

      In fact, she’d use the choker to strangle herself before she’d marry someone who wanted a cowgirl bride. Wouldn’t she?

      Dear Reader,

      This month Harlequin American Romance delivers favorite authors and irresistible stories of heart, home and happiness that are sure to leave you smiling.

      COWBOYS BY THE DOZEN, Tina Leonard’s new family-connected miniseries, premieres this month with Frisco Joe’s Fiancée, in which a single mother and her daughter give a hard-riding, heartbreaking cowboy second thoughts about bachelorhood.

      Next, in Prognosis: A Baby? Maybe, the latest book in Jacqueline Diamond’s THE BABIES OF DOCTORS CIRCLE miniseries, a playboy doctor’s paternal instincts and suspicions are aroused when he sees a baby girl with the woman who had shared a night of passion with him. Was this child his? THE HARTWELL HOPE CHESTS, Rita Herron’s delightful series, resumes with Have Cowboy, Need Cupid, in which a city girl suddenly starts dreaming about a cowboy groom after opening an heirloom hope chest. And rounding out the month is Montana Daddy, a reunion romance and secret baby story by Charlotte Maclay.

      Enjoy this month’s offerings as Harlequin American Romance continues to celebrate its yearlong twentieth anniversary.

      Melissa Jeglinski

      Associate Senior Editor

      Harlequin American Romance

      Have Cowboy, Need Cupid

      Rita Herron


      To my mother for teaching me to love country music and my sister for making me appreciate a cowboy.

      Also, to Paige & Scott for inspiring the cowboy wedding with their own real one.


      Award-winning author Rita Herron wrote her first book when she was twelve, but didn’t think real people grew up to be writers. Now she writes so she doesn’t have to get a real job. A former kindergarten teacher and workshop leader, she traded her storytelling for kids for romance, and writes romantic comedies and romantic suspense. She lives in Georgia with her own romantic hero and three kids. She loves to hear from readers so please write her at P.O. Box 921225, Norcross, GA 30092-1225 or visit her Web site at www.ritaherron.com.

      Dear Suzanne,

      You are a very special granddaughter because you go after what you want in life. When someone tells you no, you fight that much harder. And if you see someone in need, you are always there to encourage them to achieve their dreams.

      You were the youngest of the family, the last symbol of your mother and father’s love. You were the baby, but unfortunately you weren’t babied for very long. When your mother died, you had to grow up fast. Your father thought his heart had been ripped out, but it ticked strongly inside you. You became his strength when he thought he had none left. You added a much-needed spark of joy to the quiet household, and you showed us all that even through grief and sadness, we must still strive for life.

      But you never let yourself cry. You built an invisible wall, a tough veneer that sometimes keeps others from entering the closed doors to your heart. Sometimes, my dear, we have to tear down walls and clean out the cluttered attic to move forward. Sometimes we have to cry before we can free our souls to find that one perfect soul mate.

      I wish for you happiness, true love and a man who can give you all the joy that a partner can.

      Love you always,

      Grammy Rose

      P.S. Inside the hope chest you will find something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.



      Chapter One

      Chapter Two

      Chapter Three

      Chapter Four

      Chapter Five

      Chapter Six

      Chapter Seven

      Chapter Eight

      Chapter Nine

      Chapter Ten

      Chapter Eleven

      Chapter Twelve

      Chapter Thirteen

      Chapter Fourteen

      Chapter Fifteen

      Chapter Sixteen

      Chapter Seventeen

      Chapter Eighteen



      Rebecca tossed her bridal bouquet straight at Suzanne, but Suzanne jumped aside so she wouldn’t catch it. So, how did it land in her hands anyway?

      And why did she have this odd pang in her chest? This twinge of sadness. Of envy. A feeling of desperation, as if she would never find a man who would look at her with adoration and unbridled passion in his eyes the way Thomas did Rebecca. Or the way her other cousins’ husbands looked at them.

      Maybe because your latest boyfriend just dumped you like the rest of the guys you dated.

      Why did all those men keep dumping her? Did she have some big sign emblazoned on her forehead that said, Can’t Love This One?

      Sure, she knew how to attract a man, to cast the line and throw out the bait. A little flirting here. A smile there. Throw in some hip movement, and voilà, they chased her like flies after honey. But once they sampled a taste of the nectar, she never could quite keep them for more than a few quick bites.

      The wedding drowned out her thoughts as everyone rushed past the white folding chairs, food-laden tables and the gazebo to see the bride and groom off on their honeymoon. The scent of freshly cut grass and wildflowers seemed to warm the cool air, the first signs of spring evident in the tulip bulbs sprouting along the mountaintop. Fading sunshine dappled golden rays over the happy couple as they stopped to laugh at the words Just Married painted on the back of Thomas’s Porsche. Then Thomas folded Rebecca into his arms and kissed her, stirring a round of cheers and applause, and another bout of heart-sickness rippled through Suzanne.

      Drat. She did not need a man to be happy. She was managing fine on her own. Right?

      “Have fun on your honeymoon!” Mimi shouted.

      “Take lots of pictures,” Alison yelled.

      “Be happy,” Grammy Rose hollered.

      “Drive safely!” Hannah

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